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Charleys Philly Steaks Franchise Poised to Open 200 Locations in 2022

Iconic phillysteaks franchise is an era of rapid expansion  

Marking a banner year of growth, Charleys Philly Steaks plans to open 200 stores in 2022, putting America’s favorite cheesesteak shop well on its way to its goal of 1,000 stores across the U.S. into 2023.  

“It’s exciting to see how much has been accomplished in such a short span of time,” says Charleys Philly Steaks Chief Marketing Officer, Brian Hipsher.  

Charleys franchise wall join #1 cheesesteak in the world

Indeed, Charleys Philly Steaks franchise has seen unprecedented growth since announcing a landmark deal with retail mega-giant Walmart to open locations within its stores. On top of that, demand has been through the roof, with openings in strip malls, stand-alone units and even gas station/convenience stores throughout the country.  

In 2021, for instance, Charleys Philly Steaks added 63 new locations, at a time when many restaurants and chain stores were struggling financially amid the pandemic.  

“2021 was a milestone year for Charleys Philly Steaks and really set the foundation for the future of the brand,” Hipsher says. “Every department in the company has made significant improvements and investments to prepare for the rapid growth already underway.”  

What’s behind this growth? Well, some of the main reasons – digital sales have doubled for stores, menus have gotten bigger and good ole customer service blows away the competition. More than focusing on just growth and expansion, Charleys Philly Steaks set out to completely revitalize its brand.  

“It’s not just about growth in store count, it’s also about revitalizing the brand itself,” Hipsher said. “We’ve taken a guest centric approach to making everything better, from new menu items we introduce, to supportive technologies like loyalty programs, to how we demonstrate overflowing care to our guests with every interaction.”  

Making it easy for customers to order online, on the platforms they prefer and use, is key to success, as well as increasing brand awareness in these spaces. That’s why Charleys Philly Steaks invested so much time and energy on social media and marketing tactics. The results were astounding: brand awareness increased 30% in 2021.  

Charleys Philly Steaks also launched a new website to improve its loyalty program and online ordering, with a mobile first mindset. As a result, the brand saw digital sales increase from 20% of sales to close to 40%. And, its loyalty program surpassed over 750,000 members!  

Our teams also are constantly at work looking for menu inspiration to diversify a menu that has been so successful with the classic cheesesteak. For example, the brand also just introduced an ice cream and shakes category, and revamped its catering program.  

“It is just the beginning of more menu innovations and improvements underway to live up to our promise of having the #1 cheesesteak in the world,” says Hipsher.   

And, of course, at the center of Charleys Philly Steaks’ success is what has set the beloved sandwich shop apart from competitors for years: unparalleled, genuine customer service.  

“We are all here to give a great experience and to help make our franchisees successful,” Hipsher says. “At Charleys we call this “Overflowing Care.  It’s the type of care that wells up from inside and simply can’t be contained.  We want our guests and teammates to feel special and loved, and it takes special kinds of people to make that happen.  We are improving our training programs and reward systems to continue a transformation process where this type of care and experience is extremely noticeable. It will be exciting to watch this unfold!” 

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